BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Amid global coronavirus concerns, expecting mothers have more than their own lives to protect. But one Baton Rouge hospital is looking to ease anxieties by hosting its own drive-thru testing site.
Woman’s Hospital started conducting the COVID-19 tests Monday at its wellness center along Jefferson Highway. Its tests are only available through a doctor’s order for symptomatic pregnant women in their third trimester.
“Being able to test these women here, to be able to hopefully get very quick turnaround times — anywhere from 24 to 48 hours — and to have those answers is really beneficial in trying to isolate some of these patients,” said Dr. Pamela Simmons, a maternal-fetal specialist at Woman’s Hospital.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, shortness of breath and fever.
Currently available research does not show whether pregnant women face higher risks of infection. Doctors are still researching whether a mother’s infection could affect an unborn or newborn child. Regardless, doctors suggest women in their final weeks of pregnancy stay home.
“We’re asking patients not to make the run to the grocery store,” Simmons said. “Have other people do those for them.”
Patients can get their tests at Woman’s within days of seeing their doctor. Results would likely come within a business day or two after the test.